Do you find that the daily responsibilities of your life require you to sit for long periods of time? Perhaps you work in front of a screen for hours on end attending virtual meetings and clicking away at the keyboard?
No surprise…you are not alone. This is a common fact of life for many of us. And it can lead to many adverse impacts on our ability to focus, productivity, energy level, physical body, and even our general health.
If you’re a member of our community, you already understand how a regular movement practice can be an incredibly positive part of your routine. But turns out, taking short movement breaks throughout the day can be a game-changer for your physical and mental wellbeing, too!
We thought we’d help you leverage the power of what we like to call “movement snacks” by sharing three different movement breaks you can add to your day.
But before we get into the tasty bits, let’s take a quick look at how these short breaks can benefit you.
3 Research-Backed Benefits to Taking Short Movement Breaks
There are a multitude of ways that getting up to move, even for short periods of time, benefits your health and well being. Here are three.
- Improved Blood Circulation: Movement makes muscles contract and relax. This stimulates blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to cells and removing waste products from them, too! Hello improved overall cardiovascular health!
- Enhanced Mental Focus and Productivity: The benefits of better circulation run right into your brain, too! The increased blood flow from movement makes your brain release neurotransmitters that improve your mood, focus, and cognitive performance! This leads to greater focus, creativity, and a big boost to productivity.
- Combat the Ill Effects of Sitting: Sitting for long periods of time is really bad for our physical bodies and our overall health. Movement breaks improve posture, help you avoid muscle stiffness, and reduce the strain that sitting puts on the spine.
3 Mini Movement Breaks to Take During the Day
Now for the delicious bits that will feed your energy and fuel your day. Here are three “movement snacks” to take in short periods throughout the day.
- Take a Short Walk Outside: Leave your office and head outdoors for a brisk walk around the block, around the building, or up and down a set of outdoor stairs. Just ten minutes of walking will make a world of difference. As a bonus, you will reap extra benefits from the fresh air and sunshine!
- Stretch it Out: Take five minutes to stand up and do some basic stretching. Put your foot on top of your desk, bend and straighten your leg, and drape your body over each fully extended leg. Do a few standing forward and side bends and get into your shoulders by clasping your hands behind your back as you bend over.
- Quick Cardio: Get your heart rate up and simulate your entire body with a few quick cardio exercises. March in place, do jumping or plank jacks, get down and bust out twenty mountain climbers or go for the gusto by turning on some music and having a five-minute dance party.
Making these small investments of time will lead to big returns to your physical and mental well being. So go ahead! Give yourself a few movement snacks during the day to feel nourished and energized!